The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has ordered the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation to pay Rs22.52 lakh as compensation to the relatives of a fisherwoman who died after falling off a VVMC bus. The tribunal also made the private bus operator, Bhagirathi Transport, Bhiwandi and the insurance company as party to the compensation.The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by Valentine Philip Sajan (55) whose mother Philomena Sajan (54), a
fisherwoman by profession, had fallen off a VVMC bus while travelling from Pachubunder port to Papdi village 18 December 2013. According to the petitioner, the bus was crowded but Philomena had somehow managed to board the bus. The driver of the bus, however, was driving rashly and did not heed the commuters’ requests to slow down. At a turn near the Vasai ST Depot, the driver suddenly applied the brake and Philomena lost her balance and fell off the bus. She sustained serious injuries on her head and other parts, claimed Sanjay Koli, a former corporator who supported the Sajan family in fighting the case.
He added that locals had rushed Philomena to Cardinal Gracias Hospital in Vasai where she succumbed to her injuries after 49 days. Speaking on behalf of the family, Koli said, “We had approached the VVMC to give us monetary compensation as Philomena was the sole bread winner of her family and they had paid lakhs for her treatment. But the corporation refused to pay up and so we had to file a petition before the MACT.”
He also said that after the verdict, the VVMC gave the Sajan family a cheque of Rs11 lakh which would be put in a fixed deposit and its interest would be paid to the family as well.